US Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a US Senate committee


  • Antony Blinken echoed the CIA's assessment that China is preparing to invade Taiwan
  • Blinken underscored the need to clear the $19 billion Taiwan arms sales backlog
  • Blinken said China is monitoring the situation in Ukraine and how the world responds to it

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the revelations made by a top intelligence official that China has begun preparations to invade Taiwan by 2027.

In a budget hearing called by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Wednesday, Blinken was asked if he concurs with the previous statement by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns regarding China's possible invasion of Taiwan.

"In February, CIA director Burns said that, as a matter of assessment, China seems to be capable of conducting an invasion by 2027, if so ordered. Do you agree?" Tennessee GOP Sen. Bill Hagerty of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs asked Blinken.

"I agree with the assessment, yes," Blinken said, the South China Morning Post reported.

Blinken denied that China warned the Biden administration against increasing its spending on foreign military assistance to Taiwan.

Blinken emphasized the need to clear the $19 billion arms sales backlog to support the self-ruled island against Chinese aggression. He said the backlog was due to the U.S.' "production challenges," which he suggested can be solved by working with the industry.

He noted that the U.S. has been "more focused on foreign military sales" to Taiwan than on distributing grants. Blinken said that Taiwan had increased its defense budget by 11% after China ramped up its intimidation campaign and thus "has significant means to acquire this technology."

The top U.S. diplomat also suggested that China is watching what happens in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine very carefully and taking notes.

"I think if China's looking at this [war in Ukraine] – and they are looking at it very carefully – they will draw lessons for how the world comes together, or doesn't, to stand up to this aggression," he said.

However, Blinken has yet to find any evidence that China has been providing lethal assistance to Russia. "As we speak today, we have not seen them cross that line," he said Wednesday.

Blinken noted that his revelation about the possibility that China could send weapons to Russia "galvanized" other countries, and he continues to discuss with them how to respond if Beijing proceeded with its plan.

Blinken's remarks came in the wake of the recent meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The two world leaders signed a joint declaration signaling a "new era" in the China-Russia relationship.

According to a joint statement released by the Kremlin, Xi and Putin are concerned about the "negative impact" of the U.S.' Indo-Pacific strategy on Asia.

The two countries have also accused the trilateral security partnership between the U.S., Australia, and the U.K., known as AUKUS, of promoting an arms race and opening the possibility of a nuclear conflict in the region.

The Chinese flag behind razor wire at a housing compound in Yangisar in China's western Xinjiang region in June 2019